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EDF launches second EDF Pulse Africa competition

By: Emmanuel Bruce
Olivier Clement
Olivier Clement

Spurred on by the success of its first edition, energy firm Electricity Du France (EDF) has launched the second edition of its EDF Pulse Africa competition.

The initiative is with the sole aim of spotlighting and supporting African innovators who are contributing to the continent’s energy growth.

Started on May 23, 2018, African start-ups have been submitting projects in three categories: off-grid power generation, electricity uses and services and access to water through electrical power (farming and drinking water).

Start-ups are now a permanent fixture in Africa’s socio-economic landscape.

However, Africa’s economic momentum is accompanied by a more complex reality where young entrepreneurs struggle to get funding and expand their businesses, these being the main obstacles to the development of start-ups.

With its EDF Pulse Africa awards, EDF is seeking to support entrepreneurship in Africa by pursuing two goals identifying potential partners by unearthing the continent’s technological talents and supporting innovation by involving local entrepreneurs in the development of more innovative offerings.

Speaking at the launch, the Country Representative for EDF Ghana, Olivier Clement said he realisedmost young entrepreneurs struggle to get funding and expand their business, which is why the company is supporting entrepreneurs who are already stepping up to face Africa’s future challenges.

The competition is open to start-ups in all African countries, including both French and English-speaking countries.

Applicants have until July 9, 2018, to submit their applications on the website:

Committees made up of experts specialising in the field of innovation will select the ten most innovative projects and from this selection, the Grand  Jury will award three prizes.

The prize-giving ceremony will take place in Paris on the 22nd of November 2018.

In addition to the endowments granted for developing their projects, prize-winners will be fully supported throughout the process operational/financial advice.

They also benefit from project development partnerships with local players like Energy Generation (Togo-based incubator and training centre for start-ups in the energy sector) and with EDF experts, through its subsidiary EDF Nouveaux Business.

Successful start-ups will further gain access to EDF’s innovation ecosystem: EDF’s R&D organisation and creativity labs.

This second EDF Pulse Africa competition confirms EDF’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs who are already stepping up to face Africa’s future challenges.

With 50 years of experience on the African continent, EDF is actively developing low-carbon energy solutions whilst continuing to expand the continent’s electricity infrastructure.

The EDF Pulse Africa initiative follows on from the EDF Pulse awards which, since being launched in 2012, have already shone the light on and supported 1500 innovation projects being developed by start-ups in France, the UK and Italy.

According to Valérie Levkov, EDF Group Executive in charge of Africa, “the success enjoyed by the first EDF Pulse Africa competition confirmed the benefits of this initiative by revealing the incredible innovation potential of African start-ups.

"We are hoping to see the emergence of new technologies and new products that will meet the African continent’s energy challenges and that mesh with our portfolio of hydro, biomass and off-grid projects currently being developed in Africa”.